African Development Bank supports Namibian rail projects

To help speed up travel and transportation in Namibia, the Board of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of ZAR 2,000 million (USD 153 million) to the Government of Namibia to upgrade a 210 km stretch of railway in the west of the country. The support will also finance the upgrade of a section of the road from the capital, Windhoek, to its international airport.
The upgrading of the railway track between Walvis Bay and Kranzberg will speed up both freight and passenger traffic. The current railway line was last upgraded in the 1960s and, in its current condition with speed restrictions, is an infrastructure bottleneck, resulting in increased transport costs. The upgrading is particularly important because it will involve a direct link to Walvis Bay Port, and therefore will speed the passage of goods to and from the port into Namibia and beyond into other Southern African Development Community countries. The AfDB is also providing support in the expansion of the container terminal at Walvis Bay Port.
After improvement, freight trains will be able to travel at up to 80km/hr and passengers will enjoy speeds of up to 100km/hr. The rail upgrading work will be implemented over three years.
The Government of the Republic of Namibia is a co-financing partner in the project. “The project is strongly aligned with the Government’s priorities, and complements the other three projects approved by the Bank for Namibia this year. It is in line with two of the AfDB’s High 5 strategic priorities: ‘Integrate Africa’ and ‘Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa’ through the creation of construction jobs during the works and other employment after completion,” the Bank’s Deputy Director-General, Southern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office, Josephine Ngure, said.

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